My Deadlift Warm up

The deadlift is one of the most taxing exercises. With tons of variations that can be down, it can make it easy to be injured if you don’t warm up properly. I have seen a lot of injuries due to not warming up, so lets break down the warm up for your deadlift in todays article.

Why warm up?

The warm up and cool down are crucial for your workout. Without an efficient warm up, you are opening up your chances to injury. Without cooling down, you are increasing your chances to what is called venous pooling of blood in the lower extremities. This can cause you to be light headed and also cause dizziness especially in higher intensity workouts.

What should your warm up look like?

When I discuss warm ups with someone, I take into account what kind of workout they are getting ready to perform. I also look at a few other factors such as the clients health, previous injuries, age, equipment around the gym and more. That is how important the warm up is and it should be thought of as so.

It would take a long time to go over how your warm up should look if I listed every possibility so that is why I will be talking about warming up for the deadlift.

Every good warm up should have you breaking a very light sweat or right on the edge to start sweating. Starting off on a cardio movement such as a bike, treadmill, elliptical, etc. would be good to start with. Again depending on the workout listed, would vary the warm up time but 3-10 minutes should do in most strength workouts for the cardio. I would like to also list that it should be down at a low intensity such as a 50-75% speed in most machines.

Next I look at performing a self myofascial release method such as foam rolling. 5-10 minutes could be spent here if needed. I like this because this followed up with some dynamics will allow an increase in blood flow in the areas worked. This will help increase mobility for the time being, warm up that muscle and allow a decrease in chances of injury.

Dynamics are next on the list. A dynamic movement is typically described as a movement allowing a full range of motion, in turn giving a light but efficient stretch to the muscle.

I do not typically perform static stretches because this tends to relax the muscle as where the dynamic stretches can ready the muscle to fire for our strength movements.

After dynamics, I work my weakness areas to wake the muscles up to fire properly. This is where the warm up can sometimes be very specific and specialized to the individuals needs. Lets say you have low back pain, or your back is a little tight on a day we are scheduled to deadlift. I would incorporate a couple exercises like the reverse hyper, walking lunges, and back extensions or band good mornings. This would allow more blood flow into the back and assisting muscles to increase the stability for the low back. This portion can be different for everyone most of the time.

Last we have what I call “pre activation work” which is very similar to the strength movement we will do. This may also look like the weak areas we hit depending on the individual. Since we are on the subject of the deadlift, I like to incorporate stiff leg deadlifts, goblet squats, and sometimes a couple sets of pile squats to wake up the adductors (inner thigh muscles) if we have a sumo deadlift day.

I also want to mention that when doing any strength movement, especially the deadlift, START LIGHT and do a couple warm up sets to check technique and get the right muscles firing.

My deadlift warm up routine

Bike

Foam roll

Leg swings

Hip circle walks – front, back, sides

Stiff leg deadlift w/ dumbbells

Iso Glute raise with band pullovers

Start with lighter weight to check technique

That sums up the majority of the things needed to be covered today but if you have any questions on warming up, please reach out to me and ask some questions! I hope you all have a great day and enjoy this article and video!

-Alex Costa-

Safety Squat (Yoke) Bar

Safety Squat (Yoke) Bar         hbs

 

The safety squat bar can be a good tool to use. Unfortunately I have seen many people in the gym use the bar incorrectly or just not know what it is for. I am hoping that this post will help you gain a better understanding on how you can start using this bar today.

First off, if you are new to lifting and squatting then I would not recommend the safety squat bar to start off with. The main reason for this is because that when you get underneath this bar compared to a normal olympic bar you will notice a couple differences.

  1. A safety squat bar tends to be about 60-70 lbs as where a standard olympic bar is 45lb.
  2. The safety squat bar will load up your anterior chain where a normal back squat will load more of your posterior chain.

Lets talk about some of the benefits that the Yoke bar can give you, shall we?

 

Increases deadlift

On the other hand, if you have some experience then I would throw this into the mix. This can be a good tool if your deadlift is lagging and you need to bring it up. The reasoning for this is because of how this bar front loads your body. The posterior chain will have to really work to help stabilize everything. This will help build the leg strength transferring into the ground as well as increase the strength of the back because your back is trying to hold up the load as you descend into the squat. As most of us may know, a strong posterior chain (hamstrings, glutes, back) will really skyrocket your deadlift.

 

Great for athletes & powerlifters

If you are a powerlifter or athlete then this is right up your alley, with it being a good tool to add strength. Of course if you are not one of these and just are a gym goer that is looking to switch it up then have at it! Athletes need to have a strong core, hamstrings, glutes and back to be a more powerful athlete. When you are a more powerful athlete then you have a better chance of having the upper hand on your opponent.

 

Fights around injuries

One point that I have not yet mentioned but is a very solid point about this bar is that it can work around injuries! What I mean by this is that you can still squat if you have an upper body injury depending on what the injury may be. As an athlete plays through the season, injuries are always possible during season and even off season. With this bar, you can fit underneath the pad and still perform a squat. This can be extremely beneficial because you can still strength train to a certain degree (always check with your athletic trainer). If you have tight deltoids and pectoralis muscles then getting underneath a straight bar to take some squats can be stressful on those muscles and joints. This bar has the handles that you can hold on to during your squat which in turn will take the excess stress off of the shoulders.

 

Quad dominate

As I have mentioned in some of the article above, this will front load your body. This means that this will increase activation of the anterior chain like the quadriceps. The quads will really be working hard in this movement due to the stress placed upon them. Branch Warren, a pro bodybuilder says that this bar is one of the greatest tools he’s ever used to develop his thighs.

 

Numerous exercises you can do with this bar

A unique thing about this bar is that it has a spot to place your head and neck into the pad. On the sides of the pad, there are handles so you can hold onto the bar and keep it stable. With the handles being there, this opens up this bar to more exercises than just a safety bar squat. There are more things you can use the bar for like the list of the following:

  • Lunges
  • Back extensions
  • Split Squat
  • Box squats
  • Good mornings
  • Use suspended chains on this bar a lot easier

ssb lunge

This is why a powerlifter would love this bar. These are some of the more common uses of this bar as a powerlifter.

 

In conclusion

This bar is a useful tool for any gym. Although it stands out for athletes and powerlifters, anyone can try it out and I definitely recommend it! It is always fun to try something new in the gym, this bar may help you in more ways than I posted in this article. With  that being said, I hope you enjoyed this article and find this helpful. If you use the safety squat bar for anything else or know other benefits of this bar then comment below and let me know!   

 

 

Resources:

http://primalstrengthcamp.com/why-you-should-be-squatting-with-a-safety-squat-bar/

http://www.muscleandfitness.com/workouts/leg-exercises/safety-bar-squats-jacked-quads

http://www.stack.com/a/why-every-gym-should-have-a-safety-squat-bar

Pictures: lunges